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CMU Info
Top Stories
Terra Firma v Citigroup: Opening remarks
In The Studio
Red Hot Chili Peppers readying tenth album for summer release
Busted recording new album without Simpson
Kane confirms second Last Shadow Puppets album
Release News
Beastie Boys album sidelined by sequel
Kanye cover 'banned'
Yorke and Ronson to appear on silent charity single
Gigs & Tours News
Gruff Rhys announces free download and tour dates
The Walkmen announce January 2011 UK tour
Penguin Prison announces single and tour
Album review: Decimal - Lost In A Dark Place (Soma Records)
Talks, Debates & Conventions
City Showcase masterclass focuses on TV music
The Music Business
[PIAS] revamps label services offer
The Digital Business
finetunes launches new digital promo tool
The Media Business
Global chief denies interest in Moyles
Ofcom approves YouView
ITV re-signs X-Factor and BGT
IPC launches NME productions
And finally...
Alan Partridge berates Kasabian over band name choice

Brimming with the spirit of Melvins, Årabrot are a noise-rock trio from Norway. Their sound comprises Vidar Evensen's drums, shuddering underneath Stian Skagen's effects noise and Kjetil Nernes' screaming guitar and lung-tearing vocals - literally; the band recently completed a nine date tour, despite Nernes having "blown" (they don't get specific about the medical details) one of his lungs during the first show. The trio released their new album, 'Revenge', on 13 Sep via Fysisk Format, and are heading out on a UK tour this month. We spoke to Kjetil Nernes to ask the Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I finished a bottle of terrible, red liquor once at a neighbourhood party at the age of fifteen. I was crawling around in the dark when a record scattered on the floor caught my attention: Nirvana's 'In Utero'. It's my only remembrance of that night and, basically, how it all started.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
We have already received angry emails from people believing 'Revenge' to be a thinly veiled threat against them. God, people so often think the world revolves around them! I could easily claim 'Revenge' to be addressed to all the cheating, lying, stealing dumb-ass, ex-girlfriends of the world, but in reality all 'Revenge' describes is a closure and an ending. An end of an era, so to say.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
I make the basics and Vidar Evensen makes the basics into songs. Lyrics and themes come in last.

Q4 Which artists inspire your work?
Everything from Death In June to Kiss; AC/DC to Einsturzende Neubauten; Amrep to Mute to Skin Graft; Prokofiev to Ravel to Berlioz; The Stones to Godflesh to Burzum to Lee Hazlewood; Wagner and Johnny Cash; the Southern, Southernlord and Touch & Go record labels; Black Flag but not The Sex Pistols; Earth and Diamanda Galas and Fad Gadget and Slayer and Tom Waits and the Melvins... And didn't we do a cover of Butthole Surfers? And T-Rex? It's a big question demanding a comprehensive answer! Usually, we would just say Ministry and Captain Beefheart summarise our musical preferences most accurately.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
'Revenge' was spewed out in a wild frenzy, recorded, tracked, mastered and put to vinyl. It is finished and I hope to never see it again. But, we're already in the making of another one and I hope we'll be making many more.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/arabrot
The solo project of Jonquil frontman Hugo Manuel, Chad Valley is cut from similar cloth to that of the recently CMU Approved Evenings and chillwave poster boy Washed Out. His slick, soulful 80s pop tunes having been, er, washed out and buried under a wave of effects, compressing and distorting the finished recordings. It's an increasingly common technique, yes, but gives these songs such a dreamy quality it's hard to imagine them being presented any other way.

Well, I say that, but Chad Valley was one of the acts I caught at last week's In The City. Where, armed with a synth, a drum machine and a microphone, he performed without all the hiss, letting out the full force of his soulful voice. To be honest, it probably works best on record, particularly as Manuel's image doesn't really fit his music on stage - it was kind of Fleet Foxes does Hurts - but you'd still do well to check him out in one form or other.


Both Gary and The Worm were in court in New York yesterday, though according to reports neither acknowledged the other, perhaps in a bid to help out those of us who are choosing to portray this legal battle as really being about a bitter feud between too former best buddies whose friendship turned sour after a dispute over some records (well, a record company). A bit like a hip hop feud but with fewer guns and less fun stuff.

Anyway, it was day one of the Terra Firma v Citigroup trial yesterday. As much previously reported, Terra Firma and its boss man Gary 'The Guy' Hands, and Citigroup and its senior advisor David 'The Worm' Wormsley, are squabbling over the former's 2007 acquisition of EMI. Gary claims The Worm gave him duff advice ahead of his audacious EMI takeover which, he argues, resulted in him paying over the odds for the flagging music company.

A jury of nine took their front row seats as the long running squabble finally reached court yesterday, after to-the-last-minute efforts to reach an out of court settlement failed. They were told that the case about to unfold before them would focus in the main on conversations between three men at three companies over four days - that being Gary and Terra Firma, The Worm and Citigroup, and EMI and a guy called Eric.

Opening for Terra Firma, attorney David Boies updated jurors - who embarrassingly haven't been reading CMU's coverage of this squabble, otherwise they wouldn't need to have been told - on Gary's allegations. Citigroup misadvised Terra Firma, he said, mainly because of a conflict of interest brought about by the bank working for both the equity group and EMI at the same time, not to mention the fact the bank itself stood to gain greatly from the takeover going through, as the main money lenders behind the deal.

He told jurors that The Worm, and another Citigroup exec, had told Gary that they were working totally in Terra Firma's interests with regards the EMI deal, with Wormsley allegedly saying, "I am incapable of not trying to get you the best possible outcome".

Yet, Boies claimed, at the very same time The Worm was telling the aforementioned Eric - EMI plc CEO Eric Nicoli - that he was operating in his company's interest, advising that, "I have negotiated against Guy on literally dozens of occasions. He is very quirky and I am absolutely certain that I can deliver very serious added value to the negotiations". Citigroup was, Boies reckons, "playing both sides of the street".

As Terra Firma's dealings with EMI plc reached their climax, Boies added, Citigroup advised Hands that he should not "play games with the offer price", indicating - Terra Firma says - that there were other serious competing bids on the table. The bank also brought forward the deadline for bids, albeit "at the request of another bidder", further forcing Terra Firma's hand.

All of which, Boies says, rushed Terra Firma into making an offer for EMI way above the odds, with Citigroup assuming that once Hands had made his initial offer he'd not want to withdraw it, because doing so would damage his reputation as a big deal maker. Nevertheless, Boies claimed, the bank maintained the charade of there having been a serious rival bidder even once Terra Firma had made its offer. The lawyer told the court: "Citigroup knew they lied, so they tried to cover it up to continue the fiction. Moreover, they were joking about how much of a fool they made of one of their most trusted clients".

Citigroup's man in court, Theodore Wells, countered that The Worm was an honest banker - because apparently such a thing exists - and that he had never lied to Gary about rival bidder Cerberus's intentions. The bankers' legal man was keen to paint a different picture - one in which Gary had made big promises to his investors about the profits that could be made by turning EMI's fortunes round, and that when he failed to deliver on those promises the equity man started to look for someone else to blame, rather than take the failure on the chin.

According to The Guardian, Wells told the court: "Guy Hands is a very senior corporate executive who buys and sells companies and tells his investors they will make a lot of money. He told them he had money in the [EMI] deal and they should be happy too. Then it turned out to be a bad deal. People lost a lot of money. So now Hands has a new story: rather than take responsibility he says he was tricked by David Wormsley. There was no fraud, no lies. Guy Hands wanted to buy EMI and he wanted to win. It wasn't a good investment, so now we are in this courtroom".

Wells added that it was insane to suggest Hands had based is entire decision to invest in EMI on a last minute piece of advice that may or may not have been given by Wormsley. "You don't put up $4bn without due diligence", he mused. "The fact that the deal did not go well is not Citi's responsibility".

The case continues.

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The Red Hot Chili Peppers are about "half way through" recording their tenth studio album, drummer Chad Smith has confirmed.

The band, of course, reconvened in October last year after a two year hiatus, Smith telling Clash at the time: "We're gonna write for a while, it usually takes us a while". A month later, it was announced that guitarist John Frusciante had not rejoined his bandmates, and had been replaced by session guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who had previously performed live with the band, as well as playing with acts like Gnarls Barkley, Beck and PJ Harvey.

In a new interview with Music Radar, Smith has revealed that work on the album is moving closer to completion, with a summer 2011 release date planned. He said: "Things are good. Very good. We've cut a bunch of songs, so we're probably half way through the record. I think we've tracked about 20 songs already, and there's a few more left to do. Then we'll whittle them down to make the best record ... I'm just projecting and guessing, but I would say we'd like to try to deliver [to the label] the album in March. We're definitely hoping to have it out by next summer".

As for how Klinghoffer is affecting the band's new material, Smith continued: "Things are a bit different. You know, he's a different guy. But he's doing great. He's got a terrific sound, he's very musical, he's full of ideas - we're enjoying working with him. Things are coming along pretty easily, so that's always a good sign. I've been playing with him for over a year now, so it's feeling very natural ... I wouldn't say it's radically different. Josh is just Josh. He has his own thing, and that's why we love him. The sounds he comes up with are very pleasing to my ears, and I'm pretty sure they will be to everybody else once they hear him on this record".

He also confirmed that the band will be performing at festivals next summer, which will mean he can't perform live with his other band, Chickenfoot, though he did say he was "pretty certain I'll be able to finish the second [Chickenfoot] record" despite his RHCP commitments.

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Matt Willis has revealed that he and James Bourne are preparing to begin work on a new album without Busted bandmate Charlie Simpson. Speaking to BBC Newsbeat Willis, who is currently starring in the West End production of 'Flashdance', confirmed that the pair were working together again, though it's not clear if any new output will be released under the Busted name.

Earlier this year, Bourne told the Flecking Records website that Simpson was blocking the pair from using their old band name: "Matt actually asked Charlie if he would mind us using the name Busted without him. He said [we couldn't]. We invited him back, knowing he wouldn't be into it. He doesn't want to come back, but he doesn't want me and Matt to do it without him either".

Willis said this week: "Music is always in the back of my head. It's always the thing that I want to be doing. There's a chance we'll be doing something soon. It's the two guys who wrote Busted songs. So it's going to be a little bit like Busted. But we're both 27 now. We're not seventeen writing about school teachers and the year 3000. Though we're not writing about really grown-up stuff either".

He added: "The way it's taken shape, it's funny. I don't know if 'Flashdance' has influenced me, but its quite 80s, quite synth-based. But it's still got guitars. It's great. It's wicked. Things are looking good. Fingers crossed, we should be making an album within the next six months hopefully. But we'll see".

Simpson, of course, is now the guitarist in Fightstar, who are currently on hiatus but planning to begin work on their fourth studio album next year. Simpson is also working on a solo album, which he is financing through fan-funding service Pledge Music.

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Former Rascals frontman Miles Kane has announced that he and Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner will record a second album as The Last Shadow Puppets, following up their 2008 debut, 'The Age Of The Understatement'. He said that work on the record would begin after the release of his debut solo album, which is due out next spring.

Asked by the NME if The Last Shadow Puppets would return, Kane said: "Yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely. After I've done this stuff [the solo album], I guess. I've got a few things up my sleeve".

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The new Beastie Boys album, 'Hot Sauce Committee Part 1', will now not be released this year, as had been expected, but will be superseded altogether by its sequel, 'Hot Sauce Committee Part 2', which the group plan to release next spring.

'Hot Sauce Committee Part 1' was originally due for release in September last year but was pushed back after Adam 'MCA' Yauch was diagnosed with throat cancer.

In a message posted on their website, the band said that 'Hot Sauce Committee Part 1' would "continue to be delayed indefinitely", while the follow-up "will be released on time as originally planned in spring of 2011". Which is bad news for fans of maths.

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The cover artwork for Kanye West's new album, 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy', which is due for release next month, has been 'banned' in the US, according to the rapper. It's not clear who has done the banning, though it seems it may have been his label, because of fears that supermarket giant Walmart would refuse to stock it (though the retailer says it was never consulted on the artwork).

Announcing that the cover was being blocked on Sunday night, West posted the artwork online. The painting by artist George Condo shows a nude West straddled by a 'phoenix', a nude woman with wings and a tail in this case.

West tweeted: "They banned my album cover! They don't want me chilling on the couch with my phoenix. In all honesty... I really don't be thinking about Walmart when I make my music or album covers. I wanna sell albums but not at the expense of my true creativity. In the 70s, album covers had actual nudity... It's so funny that people forget that... Everything has been so commercialised now. So Nirvana can have a naked human being on the cover [of 'Nevermind'] but I can't have a PAINTING of a monster with no arms and a polka dot tail and wings".

You can view the picture at twitpic.com/2ykxjk

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Thom Yorke and Mark Ronson are amongst the contributors to an unusual charity single being released next month by The Royal British Legion. Entitled 'Two Minute Silence', the track will feature, you guessed it, two minutes of silence, and is being released to coincide with Remembrance Day.

As well as Yorke and Ronson, Bryan Ferry, Bob Hoskins, David Tennant, Andy Murray and that David Cameron will be shutting up for the track.

Royal British Legion Director General Chris Simpkins said: "Rather than record a song, we felt the UK public would recognise the poignancy of silence and its clear association with remembrance".

The track will be available for download from 7 Nov. More information at www.facebook.com/poppysingle2010.

Of course, if this single is a success, it might skupper plans to rival this year's 'X-Factor' winner in the Christmas number one race by John Cage's silent track '4'33"', a campaign that would be brilliantly called Cage Against The Machine.

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Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys has announced that he will release a new solo album, his third, in February next year. To mark the occasion, he's giving away a free download of a track from the album, 'Shark Ridden Waters', and revealed that he will be touring the British Isles next month.

You can download 'Shark Ridden Waters' from www.gruffrhys.com now. The track will also be released on twelve-inch on 8 Nov.

Tour dates:

13 Nov: Galway, Town Hall Theatre
14 Nov: Belfast, The Empire
15 Nov: Dublin, Sugar Club
22 Nov: Manchester, Whitworth Gallery
23 Nov: Glasgow, Art School
26 Nov: London, Toynbee Studios

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Having released their sixth album, 'Lisbon', last week, The Walkmen have announced that they will tour the UK in January.

Tour dates:

19 Jan: Glasgow, Oran Mor
21 Jan: Bristol, Trinity
22 Jan: Oxford, Academy
23 Jan: Birmingham, Glee Club
25 Jan: London, Shepherds Bush Empire
26 Jan: Brighton, Concorde 2

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Chris Glover, aka Penguin Prison, has announced that he will release a new single, 'Golden Train', on 22 Nov. The track is taken from his currently-in-production debut album, which is due for release via Wall Of Sound early next year.

Taking time off from working on the album, Penguin Prison will also be on tour in the UK next month.

Tour dates:

17 Nov: London, Hoxton Bar & Kitchen
18 Nov: London, The Den
19 Nov: Nottingham, Bodega
20 Nov: Bristol, Start The Bus
25 Nov: London, Notting Hill Arts Club
26 Nov: Edinburgh, Sneaky Pete's
1 Dec: Brighton, Coalition
3 Dec: London, The Queen Of Hoxton

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ALBUM REVIEW: Decimal - Lost In A Dark Place (Soma Records)
Glasgow's ever fertile dance label Soma present us with another debut long player, this time from Decimal - aka David Spacek - who has previously released some singles on underground dance labels like Rek'd, Enemy and Citrus.

'Lost In A Dark Place' covers quite a few styles, though most are somewhere between house and techno. Influences wise, you can hear different things on different tracks. 'Simulation' leans a little on Kraftwerk, 'Sense Of Time' sounds very similar to fellow Soma signing Vector Lovers, 'Melody Attack' harks back to Carl Craig's 'Landcruising' while 'Soulchamber' is akin to Glaswegian DJ Q's bumping Chicago soundscapes.

But that's not to say Spacek is overly referential to others, even if his own sound is rather eclectic. The stand out track is probably 'Forgotten Requiem', a peak time house nugget with awesome strings, while the obligatory chill out ending track, 'Lesson Of Hope', is also well crafted. So, a solid debut outing from Decimal - yet again Soma have signed a quality electronic artist that confirms their cutting edge credentials. PV

Physical release: 8 Nov
Press contact: Soma IH

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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The folks behind the City Showcase festival, which takes place in London each May, are holding the latest instalment in their year-round programme of masterclass events tonight.

Award winning film and TV composer Debbie Wiseman and TV director Steve Hughes will be providing practical advice for any songwriters or composers interesting in working in the original soundtrack space. There will be an insight into how this part of the music industry works, and a discussion on the relationship between directors and composers creating the score for their work.

The event takes place at the Dean Street Studios in London. Admission is free, just email office@cityshowcase.co.uk with Settling The Score in the subject line.

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[PIAS] has launched a new division called Global Project Management which will bring together the various marketing and fan relationship services the music company already offers, including the Integral label services unit, in a bid to better offer artists and independent labels a one-stop shop to help them market their releases globally. The new division will replace and build upon Integral, which offered major-label-style marketing support to numerous artists, including Jose Gonzales, The Gossip, Enter Shikari and Dizzee Rascal, and will bring other expertise from elsewhere in the group into the equation.

Confirming the new division, [PIAS] CEO Kenny Gates told CMU: "Providing services is and always has been at the heart of [PIAS]'s culture. GPM brings the concept of label and artist services to a whole new dimension. This unique offering creates a fully integrated service that both drives our business and supports the growing needs of artists and managers in the rapidly evolving market. 'Global' to [PIAS] means more than our multi-territory approach, it's about really focusing on the artist as a whole, and broadening the revenues that a strong and cohesive marketing strategy will generate. That includes but is not limited to product sales".

The new division will be overseen by Edwin Schroter, who has been appointed MD of Group Repertoire. He told CMU: "We're thrilled to be announcing the [PIAS] GPM service, not least as 2011 is packed with some really exciting artists that we're partnering with. This is the logical next step for our premium services - we believe it's unique in the market and represents a truly tailored solution that is a direct response to the needs of the labels, managers and artists we work with".

[PIAS], of course, also provides distribution services and operates its own record labels.

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Digital distributor finetunes yesterday announced the launch of Campaign Manager, a new promotional tool that the company will showcase at this week's Amsterdam Dance Event.

The company says the new service will enable labels to reduce the cost and workload associated with digital PR campaigns, enabling it to more easily send information and make preview music available to DJs, journalists and other partners. It seems, amongst other things, Campaign Manager is designed to help labels move away from physical promo CDs to digital promos, but in a journalist friendly way, I think.

finetunes Project Manager Rodja Schmitz-Hübsch told CMU: "In developing the Campaign Manager we have been working to create the most powerful digital promotion solution possible for our labels. Not only does Campaign Manager save our clients' precious time with its three-minute campaign setup, but also costs much less than competitive services - yet still offering all the features you would expect from a digital promotion tool in 2010".

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Global Radio chief Ashley Tabor has denied he has had any conversations with Chris Moyles about the Radio 1 breakfast show host moving over to the dark side and taking a job on his Capital FM network when it relaunches next year.

As previously reported, rumours Moyles was already in talks to leave the BBC when his current contract runs out next summer were circulating last week, shortly before Radio 2 breakfast man Chris Evans told 5live it was time for Moyles to quit the nation's favourite. Responding by Twitter on Friday, Moyles himself wrote: "To confirm; 1. I'm not leaving 2. I love working for R1 3. They love me working there 4. Some people need headlines cos they got a book out!"

Global had also already denied the rumours it was in talks with Moyles, but, speaking at the Radio Festival in Manchester today, the radio giant's top man responded to the chatter directly himself.

According to The Guardian, he told the conference: "I want to put that one to bed. We haven't had any conversations with Chris about joining us. If you look at what we did with Heart - [hiring presenters such as] Emma Bunton and Jason Donovan - they are people who have not done radio before and we are bringing them into the sector. That is more our strategy at Global".

It's a great strategy, ignore all the great radio talent out there, you know, people with ideas and personality, and instead hand prime time spots to pop stars who can just about read out the names of songs. Say what you like about Moyles, but at least he's a proper radio DJ.

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Media regultor OfCom has given the go ahead to YouView, the video-on-demand TV-over-IP platform that will come to Freeview and Freesat boxes in the near future, backed by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, TalkTalk and BT. As previously reported, the YouView service is a manifestation of the Project Canvas discussions between various UK broadcasters and ISPs regarding devising a standard technology for the provision of telly-on-demand.

The collaboration of so many terrestrial broadcasters on a new business venture has caused some opposition, mainly from YouView's main competitors in the VOD space, Sky and Virgin. Previous efforts by the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 to collaborate on an albeit web-based on-demand service, Project Kangaroo, was vetoed by the Competition Commission, and eventually sold off to the Arqiva who launched the service as SeeSaw.

But, despite Sky and Virgin's objections, OfCom today gave its approval for YouView, saying it didn't believe having a stake in the platform would stop the likes of the BBC, ITV and Channel Four licensing their content to other competing on-demand services. The regulator added: "It is likely that YouView will bring benefits to viewers and consumers. Any potential harm to competition would need to be offset against these benefits".

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ITV has signed a new three-year deal with Simon Cowell's Syco ensuring the commercial channel will air the 'X-Factor' and 'Britain's Got Talent' programmes through to 2013, by which point each episode of the former will probably run for three days.

The shows will continue to be aired in autumn and late spring respectively, meaning that Cowell is likely to only appear himself in the final stages of the 'X-Factor' competition, he being committed to the new US version of the show which will also run in the second half of the year.

At one point it was thought ITV's unwillingness to move its 'X-Factor' programme to a different slot in the year might jeopardise Cowell's willingness to re-sign to the network at all. Though with the three year deal reportedly worth £20 million, Cowell's company was never really that likely to back out of its ITV alliance.

Confirming the new deal, Cowell told reporters: "I am thrilled this deal has been concluded with ITV to enable our relationship to continue to develop. I am committed to making sure both shows get bigger and better every year".

The deal will also give ITV exclusive rights to air the US versions of Cowell's shows, so that's something to look forward to.

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NME publishers IPC have announced the launch of NME Productions, which will basically make recording facilities set up by the music magazine for the creation of audio and video content available to labels and bands interesting in hiring them.

A statement from IPC issued yesterday explained: "From today, the famous music brand will open its studio doors at NME HQ, the Blue Fin Building, to bands wanting to record session tracks, interview content, viral content, DVD extras, editorial press kits and much more. Having already attracted the likes of Kasabian, Doves, La Roux, Florence & The Machine and Biffy Clyro, the studios have a proven track record of high quality, professional services, carried out NME's in-house production team".

NME Editor Krissi Murison added: "NME has always been committed to championing new music. By opening the doors to our studio, we're also now able to offer artists the opportunity to create all the content they need to go out and make a big impact on music fans everywhere".

NME Productions is the latest spin-off from the iconic music weekly, which has diversified into a number of new areas as sales of its flagship magazine continue to slump. This is, however, to the best of my knowledge, the first B2B service to carry the NME name.

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Kasabian seem likely to guest on the recently announced new Alan Partridge show - which will appear on a Foster's owned comedy website - or at least their answer phone message will. The band's Tom Meighan has told The Sun that he recently got a voicemail message from Steve Coogan in character as Patridge berating him for naming his band after Linda Kasabian, a member of Charles Manson's infamous 'family'.

Says Tom: "It was the most surreal thing ever. I was checking my voicemails and they were all pretty mundane... then Alan Partridge piped up. He was having a right go at us, saying we were setting a bad example to kids for naming the band after Linda Kasabian. It was hysterical. I love Steve Coogan, he's a funny man. I've kept it, though I'm slightly worried how he got my number - and that I'm going to feature on some wind-up show".

The new Alan Partridge show is due to premiere on www.fostersfunny.co.uk next month. On the new show, Partridge said: "That it has taken Foster's to help realise my dream of joining the information superhighway is a damning indictment of the established broadcasters whose shabby treatment of me on 10 Sep 2001 was frankly shabby. I made dozens of calls the next day, all of which were ignored".

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
George Osbourne
Cuttings Manager

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